Twitch Will Mute Videos With Copyrighted Music

The live-streaming startup is also removing the option to store past broadcasts in their entirety forever.

Twitch Will Mute Videos With Copyrighted Music
[Image: Flickr user raphaelstrada]

Neither Twitch nor Google have confirmed YouTube’s rumored billion-dollar acquisition of the live-streaming gaming site. But some suspect Twitch’s latest changes–flagging videos with copyrighted music and no longer storing broadcasts forever on its servers–are part of a larger effort cleaning house before Twitch officially joins the Google family.


On Wednesday, Twitch’s general counsel, Elizabeth Baker, said the startup was partnering with Audible Magic to scan videos for music owned or controlled by the audio recognition service’s clients. If Audible Magic detects any copyrighted music in future or past videos, it will mute and turn off volume controls for that portion of the video. This does not apply to live broadcasts.

The red bar shows muted parts of a video, after Audible Magic flags copyrighted content.Image: Twitch

Twitch has also made changes to stored videos on demand. The company said most views for past broadcasts happen within two weeks of creation. “We also discovered that 80% of our storage capacity is filled with past broadcasts that are never watched. That’s multiple petabytes for video that no one has ever viewed,” CEO Emmett Shear wrote in a blog post.

As a result, the company is removing the option to store past broadcasts in their entirety forever. In three weeks, Twitch will begin removing past broadcasts from its servers, and the company recommends users export videos they want to keep to YouTube.

By default, Twitch is keeping broadcasts for 14 days, up from three days, or 60 days for paid subscribers and Twitch partners, who receive a share of revenue generated from their broadcasts. Streaming highlights, capped at two hours in length, will be saved indefinitely, as will any past highlights, regardless of video duration.

Users can ask questions or voice their concerns on a Reddit Ask Me Anything chat with Shear at 10:30 a.m. PT.

About the author

Based in San Francisco, Alice Truong is Fast Company's West Coast correspondent. She previously reported in Chicago, Washington D.C., New York and most recently Hong Kong, where she (left her heart and) worked as a reporter for the Wall Street Journal.